I had a conversation with a dear friend recently regarding a newsletter she received from the elementary school that two of her three daughters attend. The letter referenced a litany of things: current events at the school, goals, programs, etc… It also mentioned an upcoming “event,” of sorts. It would appear that on a certain Friday in December, all children, as well as faculty, were told not to carry backpacks, but were “allowed” to carry their belongings–school related and personal–either in their hands, or in a “plastic bag” of some sort. Why, you may ask? In a showing of “solidarity and empathy” with the children of Cameroon who have no backpacks in which to carry their school supplies.
No, this post is not about the “injustice” that every Third World nation must face on a daily basis, presumably due to the affluence and wastefulness of the “greedy” United States. No, this post is actually about gun-control. How does one make the connection between impoverished children half a world away, and the endless debate taking place right here, in our own backyard? Well, the newsletter in question was written and delivered immediately following the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. This school is located in Charlotte, N.C., and, fortunately, received no damage as a result of this natural disaster. But I couldn’t help but wonder why the school (presumably) was more concerned with the needs of children its students would likely never meet, than with the needs of children and adults just a few states away? It occurred to me the school was doing the same thing the gun-control lobby does: wasting effort creating non-solutions to very real problems.
Yes, there are suffering children, everywhere, but why not focus on the suffering of the kids who endured the ravages of Hurricane Sandy? Clearly the school wants to teach the kids to “care” about those in need, and clearly there is a problem of need in Cameroon. But if the purpose of “caring” is to “help” or solve a “problem,” then we have to be careful that our care and impulse to help is not misapplied to the point where it helps no one and solves nothing.
Instead though, we are made to feel bad about any lack of desire to help the children of Cameroon. How can we possibly watch the television ads every day, see those poor, starving children, and not be overwhelmed with compassion, not to mention, the need to open our hearts, and more importantly, our wallets? If we don’t want our kids to participate, if we want them to use the perfectly good backpacks we bought, it’s not that we disagree with the approach, it’s that we don’t “CARE.”
The same assumption is at work in the mind of the gun-control advocate. There’s a supposed correlation between legal gun owners and a lack of interest in gun violence, and it’s absurd. If anything, those of us who own weapons legally, for any reason we choose, are, in fact, MORE concerned about gun violence! We are every bit as disturbed that the mentally-ill and crime-bent have continued to get their hands on weapons, both illegally AND legally. As the lawful owner of, arguably, enough firearms to stage a Third World uprising, and, surprisingly, not having been convicted of mass murder (as the gun-control lobby would have you believe is impossible) I am outraged by this narrative that I don’t “care,” or worse, that my right to own my guns CAUSES the violence. All of us who legally own guns have placed not one, but two items, into the betting pot up for loss; Not only are our families, teachers, students, and anyone else we know, as likely to become a victim of gun-related tragedy as those who oppose legal gun ownership, we cherish the Constitutionally guaranteed rights that are at stake!
To illustrate my point about how the gun-control advocates take their “caring” and target the wrong “solutions,” let’s look at a problem that was brought up by none other than New York City’s Nanny-in-Chief, Mayor Bloomberg. He made a great point–one of very few–that of the 76,000 cases referred to the F.B.I. in 2010, where criminals provided FALSE information to “legally” obtain a firearm, only 44 were prosecuted. Yes, I realize that our justice system is unbelievably backlogged, and that at the time, these may not have seemed to be pressing issues, but aren’t they, at the very least, somewhat likely to become the next homicides we read about? Why not focus on closing that loophole FIRST? Why start with the assumption that ALL legal gun owners are responsible for the violence perpetrated by the very few? I mean, if it’s so difficult to enforce the law broken by these 76,000, how much harder–or rather, more futile–would it be to try to create new laws affecting the over 90 Million legal gun owners?
But perhaps what bothers me most is that we, the LAW-ABIDING gun owners of this once “land-of-the-free, and “home-of-the-brave,” are singled out to be considered a great many things, none of them positive. To listen to President Obamadinejad (my pet name for our now twice ‘elected’ President) speak today, not to mention all the gun-control advocates lately, those of us who legally own guns, or who just fiercely defend those who do, those millions of us who oppose imposing new restrictions on gun ownership, we OBVIOUSLY don’t care one bit for the children murdered in the unspeakable act of violence that occurred on that chilly December morning in Connecticut. We OBVIOUSLY have no regard for the safety of our OWN children and family members residing in our households. Even Obamadinejad surrounded himself with “children” during today’s speech on gun-control, while unveiling, the recommendations from his V.P.-led “Task Force on gun violence”. The message he’s trying to send is that he needs to remind gun owners, and 2nd Amendment defenders, as if we’ve forgotten, that our children are the most vulnerable to an attack like those seen at Columbine, and in Newtown, or really, to “gun violence” in general.
No, in fact, quite the opposite is true. I maintain a collection of firearms and ammunition because I DO care that much. Enough to unleash a torrent of deadly minerals in the direction of any threat posed to me or mine. This is not something we take lightly, or without great personal introspection. The ability to decide to own something capable, actually designed solely with the purpose of, taking another’s life, is not something that should be available to every American. Those convicted of felony offenses are no more allowed to obtain a firearm than they are to vote. Those with a documented history of mental illness, or spousal abuse, are also, prohibited. Perhaps we should start by actually enforcing the laws that were already meticulously thought-out, that are all-too-rarely applied? After all, if strict “gun-control” worked, it would seem to me, Chicago would be the safest city in the country.